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Okay, I've had this in my head for a long time (ever since I started the army, actually!, so I thought I'd write it up and see what everyone thought of it. Here goes...
The Journal of Hepheastus Faust, Venerable Techpriest Enginseer of the 207th Cadian
It is spreading. More men fall every day, gibbering as they lapse into insanity, rabid foam at their lips. A few survive, but their physical condition is horrendous, skin unnaturally pallid and the men themselves weak and tired. Worst of all, there is a red gleam to the eye, horribly reminiscent of some of the fiends I have encountered on my travels with the regiment. I seem to be unaffected; probably due to my extensive augments. I thank whatever God out there still listens to my prayers that I remain well enough to look after the men. I feel sure that the Emperor, in his incarnation as the Machine-God also, has forsaken both me and the regiment.
I suppose that makes me a heretic. I do not care. I feel, now, that the Imperium should pay for what it has done. I do not know how, but I shall make it so. I must.
I have started this journal in desparation, in a hope of organising my thoughts, of formulating a plan to save my men. I suppose to do that I should start from the beginning, see it all again and perhaps ease the turmoil in my mind.
Three months ago, I and my regiment of many years, the Cadian 207th, were stationed on this thrice-cursed backwater wasteland-world, Firona V. We were told very little of our mission, but knew that it was ordered by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos, Harrikain Rikol, and involved guarding a large research station in which a new weapon was being created. We were not told the details; had we been perhaps I could have stopped all this before it started.
But that is foolish talk, and will not help me nor the men now. I shall continue with my recap.
During the first weeks of our stay here, we found that the place was as cold and desolate a planet as any of us had ever seen. We were ordered to send out scout patrols; Inquisitor Rikol, damn him, had not wanted to risk his own precious staff and, in fact, this was one of the chief reasons the 207th had been called to Firona. It was a regular occurance for the patrols not to return, or to return bedraggled and terrified. Rikol continued ordering the patrols regardless, executing the ones who returned claiming escape from horrendous half-human beings under the reasoning that they were spreading malcontent. Captain Gray was not happy with the treatment of his men, and told Rikol so. He was promptly imprisoned, registered to undergo the transformation to Servitor as soon as time and resources could be spared. It was clear that this Inquisitor held a frightening amount of power, and was certainly not afraid to weild it. No-one else spoke up.
Our other duty was to protect the facility from Ork attack; the system was rampant with greenskins, rampaging from planet to planet and enslaving the humans there to work in their Mek-shops and primitive, smoke-belching factories. Soon it was clear that the Ork Waaaaagh! was heading waywardly for Firona; Rikol remained confident.
Production on the mysterious weapon seemed to speed up-the other Techpriests, most of them closer to machine than human, were rarely seen, and when they were, it was scuttling (or, sometimes, rolling) along the corridors at a great pace. Rikol disappeared completely into the locked confines of the research facility, never to be seen again, although I feel I can guess what caused his demise.
Soon the Ork attack was imminent, their brutal, overgunned battleships looming like grim stars in the sky over us. The regiment prepared for battle, and it was not long before it was joined. The Orks made planetfall within 48 hours of first sighting, and huge, filthy smoke clouds from their vehicles could plainly be seen on the horizon, divided from the land by an ominously green and jagged border, huge Gargants outlined in the smoke like crude effigies of Gods. Soon they were in artillery range, and it is true that our first barrage of Earthshaker fire blasted gigantic holes in the Ork lines-however, they were filled near immediately by the relentless green tide, feral battle-cries echoing like one huge voice of death, violence and destruction.
It was then that I first saw the Great Eye in the clouds, an unblinking, red-rimmed, horribly baleful orb. I blinked, and it was gone, like a mirage of the sky. I had seen the deserts of Tallarn and learnt of the locals there what a mirage was, how it manifested as something physical then disappeared as you got closer. This had not been like that: in fact, the Eye had seemed only semi-corporeal for the brief moment I saw it, cloud patterns outlining the pupil which seemed a like a great black sea.
I shook it off uneasily and returned my mind to the battle at hand. Soon there was close-range fighting in the narrow halls of the research facility, ten Orks to every Guardsman, in an unwinnable battle of brave human and savage, bestial greenskin, the hulking creatures charging through the halls brandishing bloody weapons, stubby Ork chainswords, huge cleavers reminiscent of a butcher's shop all carving through the flak armour of the hapless defenders with ease. They were met with bastions of Guardsmen, doomed to fall no matter how many Orks they stabbed with the bayonets of their lasguns-more simply surged forward to take their places, eager to be in the fight and claim human heads for glory and status, rampaging through the halls until finally they reached our command station at the deepest accessible level of the station; two hundred courageous men communicating through vox to the head of the battle, Commissar Trast stalking from vox to vox shouting fierce, inspired words of encouragement to the soldiers. I was there, orchestrating the strategy, having taken temporary command of the regiment since the dissapearance of Inquisitor Rikol.
Okay, my inspiration ends there. If anyone wants more I'll have a go at typing it up.